For us lucky New Yorkers who live in or visit Ulster County's bounty of natural splendor, it's easy to pay homage to nature's many gifts.
An ever-changing natural landscape bursts forth here with each new season and even day. Not to brag, but just this week I have seen a fox, many hawks, voles, deer, a raccoon and all kinds of birds delighting in the flowering trees and earth. And farmers! I have happily seen many of those too, hands in the earth, grins on their faces. One cannot help but worry here for the impact of late snows on our crops, for example, or how one thing affects another.
No matter where and how you live, every single one of us can be even more mindful of our choices and actions and how they impact our incredible planet.
How do our food choices affect our bodies, our communities, our eco-systems both near and far?
How do we show our gratitude for the earth's nourishing, teaching, healing, and inspiring ways?
How can we walk softer on the planet to help co-create a softer and kinder world?
We recognize that the business world is not exempt from social responsibility, and in fact in many cases is to blame. The move towards sustainability has never been more important, so we've been making a sincere effort to consider all aspects of our company, from the long-term and big-picture items to the everyday micro choices.
Here are our some of the principles we live by at Nectar...
Did you know that styrofoam takes 500 years to decompose?! We recycle every last bit of our packaging materials, including each box from every shipment. That also means making regular trips to the Marbletown Transfer Center for discarded bubble wrap and packing peanuts. It might not be the prettiest packaging, but it keeps styrofoam and plastics from sitting in landfills.
We choose to feature "Green" and Fair Trade products whenever possible that don't harm the planet, the artisans and workers that make them, their families and communities. These items are always handmade from organic and recycled materials without use of harsh chemicals, synthetic components or factory labor.
"The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a source, albeit a small one, for conflict minerals that end up in our electronics. While some companies, such as Nokia, have shown their resolve in never using conflict minerals in their products, other companies have yet to be so transparent. Eve Ensler isn't sitting back about it. Not only are the minerals gathered through abusive means and slave labor, they're also gathered where rape is used as a weapon of war over the mines. The minerals, such as columbite tantalite or coltan are essential to the function of our gadgets. It's bad enough we have major issues with recycling these devices without harming people. It's even worse when we really examine the harm that can go into making them. Ensler's talk is a wake up call that we have to be equally diligent about the sources of our gadgets as we are about their disposal."
One of our very favorite local companies is Sunbeam Candles. Based out of Ithaca, NY, Sunbeam is the most ecologically conscious company we know- they're solar powered, ship carbon neutral, handcraft all their 100% pure beeswax goods in small batches without yucky carcinogenic paraffin (found in most commercial candles), recycle leftover wax, use only 100% recycled paper packaging and office paper, compost, and carpool to work. They're pretty rad and their products are too!
"What electricity we don’t make, we buy from companies producing electricity from 100% renewable resources such as wind power and biomass generation. So, all the energy we use at Sunbeam Candles is renewable, guaranteed!"
They pledge "Carbon Neutral Shipping": "We are contributing to offset the climactic impact of the delivery of each of our packages. UPS invests in reforestation and other projects that reduce the carbon level in the atmosphere and base their investments on how much carbon is actually released in the delivery process for each shipment. This essentially offsets the environmental impact of shipping with Sunbeam Candles. Please go to: www.carbonneutral.com/page/ups to learn more. There is no extra cost to you."
On composting: "We compost all organic waste in a homemade bin system outside the shop. The compost is used to grow food and nourish flowers in the gardens around the candle shop."
Umm, I think we can all learn a little bit from this amazing company.. Not to mention their candles are FABULOUS!